How to change the oil in a 2004 VW Jetta


Jack the vehicle up, using a jack stand as well. Open the hood and get ready to get a little oil on your hands.


Put the drain pan under the drain plug and position it to catch a stream that will flow toward the back of the car.


I used a dial indicator to find out what size the drain plug is. The engine I am working on here has a plug that takes a seventeen millimeter wrench.


Use a socket that has a thin wall and start the plug loose. Don't take it all the way out, just get near the end and move on to the next step.


If the engine is completely cool you can take the plug out by hand, otherwise put and 4"x3/8" extension on the socket and thread it the rest of the way out. Watch out here comes the oil.


Let the oil drain completely and put the plug back in.


Scoot the drain pan toward the oil filter and crawl out from under the car. Here is the oil filter on my car. I removed the filter by hand, however, most people will need a filter wrench to remove the filter.


Reach down and unscrew the filter, it will make a little mess so expect it.


Stick you finger in the hole in the filter and bring it up through the top of the engine compartment. Be carefully not to spill the oil all over the place. Dump the oil filter into the drain pan and dispose of it when you take the oil to recycling. Check to make sure the gasket came out with the old filter.


Oil the gasket on the new filter and stick your finger in the hole and guide it back down into place.


Screw the new filter into to place. Snug it down and give it a quarter turn more after snug.


Take the oil fill cap off.


Fill the car up with oil to the manufactures specification for your engine size. I have a 2.0 gasoline engine and it takes 4.5 quarts.


Wipe up the oily mess and put the fill cap back on.


Pour used oil into a container and remove to a recycling place as soon as possible, you don't want nasty old motor oil sitting around your place. Wow, good job on changing your oil. I hope you receive the same satisfaction I do from knowing that my car is in tip top shape.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always wear eye protection.
  • If the engine is hot wait for it to cool to change the oil.
  • Wipe up the oil mess as you to keep the job looking nice.
  • Oil out of a hot engine will burn you. It can be well over two hundred degrees by the time you get to the oil plug.
  • Changing your oil is super important to your cars engine. Oil not only picks up contaminants as is pumped through the engine, it also starts to become a different compound. Over a certain period of time these two conditions can affect the performance of an engine, especially a high reving little four cylinder like this. This is an easy project so come on lets get started.